28.7.14

Minimalist Monday: Is a Simpler Life Attainable?

Question: do you want a simpler, more contented way of life that isn't consumer driven? OK, right now it may seem unattainable, but it really is within your grasp if you're ready to start making just the smallest adjustments to your life. Believe me, a few years ago I didn't know that a more minimalistic life was within my reach - I thought it required more discipline and radical action than I was capable of.

Almost 4 years ago, when I started to make my life simpler, I had no grand plan, just a desire to start reducing my possessions, my consumerist ambitions and to calm down the frantic pace of my life. Back then although I sought change, I couldn't envisage a newer, simpler life ever being a reality for me. Paying a large mortgage meant working full-time with little energy left to implement change. When I first discovered minimalism downsizing wasn't yet on my horizon but the more I learned about it and practised it the more my perspective changed. I began to see that my life wasn't fixed and that I could choose a simpler, different life. New possibilities started to shimmer on a newly expanding beautiful horizon.

Little bits of decluttering here and there led to the realisation that we could fit our family into a smaller house; cutting back on spending and living well on less gave me the courage to eventually leave a permanent job that was overwhelming me; slowing down and resisting the urge of busy-ness brought balance, self-acceptance and contentment to my life. 

Nowadays, almost 4 years into my my minimalist journey, I may not be keeping up with the Joneses externally, but internally I have gained so much self-knowledge and peace. In letting go of valuing status I'm beginning to let new values into my life: quietness, nature, improved health, closer relationships and a new found spirituality. In focussing less on the external I'm beginning to discover new ways to happiness.

Living in a smaller house with less stuff and less commitments doesn't happen over night. It takes time, discipline and a lot of fear has to be overcome along the way. Like working on a fiddly jigsaw, what seems impossible at first is achievable if you work on one area at a time. Piece by piece your new life will begin to fit together. There may be pieces missing but that's OK. The first step is to listen to what you really want from life and the rest will follow in time. 

A consumer driven life or a simpler life? It's your choice. 

Have you made that choice? Are you ready for change? I'd love to hear from you. 


8 comments :

  1. I have been thinking for a long time now that a simpler life would be a huge aid to my mental health. I have cut back on many things personally. I have found contentment through living a life that embraces simple pleasures - gardening, walking, being with my children, not having a high pressured job. Other things are more tricky. One step at a time. xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Simpler is surely happier. I definitely think it's the right way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So very well written, l love this post, it is all very true. On starting out finding a simpler way feels more than a little frightening. However, as one travels along it gets easier and easier and more interesting, more natural as one goes. I could never ever go back to the consumer life l led, it would feel completely meaningless and totally empty for me now. Pam x

    ReplyDelete
  4. It seems the way we should all be trying to live.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for such a thought provoking post.

    Jean x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi. I've been working towards a more Minimalist lifestyle for some time now. At first, I took drastic decluttering action: donating about 80% of my wardrobe & jewellery (I had a LOT of clothes I wasn't wearing), cutting back enormously on optional spending (dining out, travel etc) & this year, I've set myself the challenge of not shopping for a whole year. I think one key part of the change in thinking is to stop unnecessary items from entering your home in the first place. If the inflow is stopped/reduced, then there's simply less clutter to deal with. I'm still working on this - there's just way too much packaging in our grocery shop! Of course, simplifying your life isn't just about removing unnecessary physical items (which is a good start) but also tackling unhealthy relationships (with others/food/alcohol etc), reducing online clutter/time sinks, as well as introducing healthier & more fulfilling routines into your everyday life. My usual escape is a 6 mile walk around the local park. Heaven.

    Best Wishes,
    SF

    ReplyDelete
  7. My life as an adult has always been quite simple so there wasn't any big transition period but I have had a change lately in thinking about what I want to do now that my children are getting older. I don't have a lot of time to work, but I can do a few things from home and sometimes do. I used to think it was "wrong" somehow not to want to do something more important - i.e., more prestigious or better-paid but I don't feel that way anymore. I'd rather live simply so I don't have to bring in much money, if any at all, and focus on having a peaceful homelife and happy, healthy kids. It feels good to have made intentional choices and to have figured out my priorities more fully.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so glad you joined my site - otherwise I never would have found yours. And I'm very glad I did.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. Keep in touch xo